Out of the Silent Planet
I expected a longer intro for this song, but I'm glad that it is dramatic and epic right from the start.
I was just absolutely floored by this track. I also forgot to mention in my initial post that the Bridge, where Bruce uses his high notes to make it almost seem as if the nation is being over run, the switches to low notes and the key temporarily switches to A is absolutely brilliant.WOW!!!
Since this is how Maiden start their album, that's how I'm going to start this review: with one big "WOW".
First two singles announced that I can throw my predictions out of the window. Although I tried to do that, I still had my reservations since this one was an opener and Maiden don't shift into the highest gear right at the start, yes? Wrong! First chorus hit, and I was like: "OK, that's it, I'm bought." The song didn't even finish, and I already came to conclusion that I'm going to like "Senjutsu" way, way more than "Book of Souls".
The song itself consists of three main parts (I'm not counting intro and outro because by Maiden standards they would qualify as a short special effect.) First part with an awesome heavy groove (used for verses and solos), a refreshing melodic chorus and that part where Bruce cries for help. Yet, it doesn't feel like an 8+ minute song for me. While we're on topic I'm going to say a thing or two about editing.
Some might say Senjutsu (same as some other songs on this album and in previous 20 years) needs editing. We could probably agree on some of them, but I doubt any one of them would be from this album. I don't know is it because every song has its own mood or the Three Amigos got more courageous and infiltrate every part of the song with their melodies, hooks and solos or is it because I like the album that much. Even if there are some parts of this album that don't sit well with me, I wouldn't get rid of it. Steve Harris didn't build this band on "if they only cut/shorten this" - he built this band on stubborn determination. I believe he did "something" right because 40+ years later, there are people of all age groups and in all parts of the world that drool over new material. For those who say there are surpluses on these songs, I say this (and it may sound a bit harsh): "Tough luck. But you have your audio editing tools and I have a Play button." I'd rather have a part I don't like than having a feeling that the song is missing something.
Why do I like it that much? The groove, probably. The main riff is really heavy, but on later listens, I realized it wouldn't shine that much if it weren't for that great drum groove (Nicko's "How to make a song heavy without snare drum 101"). Distressed Bruce's voice (is that some sound effect or are those doubled vocals?!) with a warning of coming threat sets the mood immediately and just when you think the song is a call to arms stuck on muddy ground, the song elevates to highs with the most melodic opener chorus since the 80s. And after that, even if the majority of the song is variations on those two parts, the song just keeps flowing and flowing. (Back to editing: if somebody asked me to cut a minute of two from this one, I really wouldn't know which part since, even if they are repeated, there are new bits and bobs in them that I really like).
The song is anthemic, but I don't really see it as "victorious". Yes, Bruce keeps saying they will overthrow, but there's something between the lines or in the notes that makes me think they're not that sure. Like warriors holding their weapons, pumped with adrenalin and ready to charge; something they did a dozen of times before. But now, there's a silent look of dread between them that speaks: "We might not make it this time...". Maiden did songs with that same theme before, but it was never like this, never so.... beautifully poetic. Like a captain of a ship knowing they all might sink soon, but he's still standing on the bridge, refusing to abandon it, and says: "Come what may."
And that how I see Iron Maiden on Senjutsu. Crew on a ship who's seen its fair share of both thunderous storms where they feared for their lives and calm ports where they enjoyed their riches. Now it's time for one final departure, and they're ready to give it their all...
Tool I can kind of see.So before the album was released two of the big reviews compared this song to both the band Tool and the genre of Industrial Metal, anybody else feeling that? because I certainly am not, sure it has a dark groove going on but i'm not seeing the connection myself
Some reviews also linked Death of the Celts to The Clansman and i definitely can't hear that connection either